Proceedings PaperOptical distribution channel: an "almost-all" optical LAN based on the field-coding technique
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Providing a single user with a very high (on the order of gigabit per second) bandwidth is a challenge that the research community is trying to address these days. The current commercially available (or available in the near future) networks, such as FDDI, can deliver on the order of hundreds of Mbps to the end user. In some of these networks, the aggregate network bandwidth is much larger, but a single user can utilize only a small portion of the network capacity. We describe here a design of an `almost-all' optical local-area network that is capable of providing Gbps directly to the user. The network design is based on the 802.6 topology, the `field coding' technique that was reported by us earlier (in which the header and the data fields are encoded in different rates), and the principle of `almost all' optical switching. Several considerations guided us in our design, among them: cost, integration, and flexibility. By providing all of the above attributes, the optical distribution channel may be an example of future high-speed local area networks, in line with the FDDI-follow on (FDDI-FO) effort.